La Roche-Posay is a popular European skin care brand and its Anthelios Sunscreens with Mexoryl are cult favorites. The brand has just recently come to the US! The European versions of Anthelios all contain Mexoryl (also called Ecamsule), which is an excellent photostable UVA ingredient – it blocks the sun’s rays that cause aging, and it doesn’t degrade in sunlight.
La Roche-Posay Anthelios XL Fluide Extreme SPF 50+
Last year I purchased this sunscreen because I was curious to see if it would perform even better than my usual Zinc Oxide-based sunscreens. It has a lot of great sunscreen ingredients in it, and it has a high level of UVA protection. I bought this online from a European store (for about $25 for 1.7 ounces), because at the time sunscreens containing Mexoryl were not sold in the United States. Now Amazon is selling this product too.
A few years before I had tried Anthelios W Gel Sunscreen, but that made me break out like crazy so I had to stop using it. Luckily the non-comedogenic Fluide Extreme has not caused any breakouts, so it should be safe to use on acne-prone skin, and it’s designed for normal, combination, or oily skin. It’s fragrance-free, water resistant, and paraben-free. It has a very thin watery consistency, and it goes on light and sheer. A lot of new sunscreens are coming out with this light liquid consistency too. You have to be careful applying the sunscreen, or it will drip right out of your hands! This sunscreen can be a little tricky to apply over moisturizer or antioxidant serums, so it’s best to let your moisturizer sink in for several minutes to avoid pilling. Shake the bottle and very lightly rub or pat it on your face. Then wait another few minutes before applying makeup.
The active sunscreen ingredients in the Anthelios Fluide Extreme are: Mexoryl SX, Mexoryl XL, Titanium Dioxide, Octocrylene, Tinosorb S, Avobenzone, and Uvinul T 150. I can’t find the exact percentage of the ingredients, and it doesn’t say what they are on the box or bottle! Even though this contains Avobenzone, I haven’t really experienced too much stinging when I wear this sunscreen, and it’s also free of Oxybenzone, which really can cause a burning sensation in people with sensitive skin. This offers substantial UVB (burning) and UVA protection, but I can’t say it performed even better than my sunscreens that contain Zinc Oxide, instead of Mexoryl. I would say they are about the same – they work really well, but when you’re in extreme sunlight, nothing blocks the sun’s rays completely.
Now here’s the bad part: the 4th ingredient is alcohol denat., and alcohol in skin care products dries out your skin. So while I love that this product doesn’t cause acne, it unnecessarily dries out my skin! The sunscreen goes on great and it looks great under makeup, but by the end of the day my skin feels a little dry and tight. Even if you have oily skin and it doesn’t noticeably dry your skin out, alcohol is still irritating to your skin in the long run:( Because of the alcohol, I’m not sure if I would repurchase this product or not, but otherwise it’s a great sunscreen!!
CVS now sells La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen!
Now that the ingredient Mexoryl is approved for use in the United States, you can find it in some La Roche-Posay sunscreens at CVS stores. Most of the La Roche-Posay sunscreens sold at CVS contain Oxybenzone, which I try to avoid, or they don’t contain Mexoryl, which makes it just like any other drugstore sunscreen on the shelf, but with a more expensive price tag! There’s only one version that meets my criteria, but I haven’t bought it yet because the reviews of it online have been pretty bad (unlike the Fluide Extreme).
La Roche-Posay Anthelios Sunscreen SPF 40 from CVS has these active ingredients: Avobenzone (2%), Ecamsule (Mexoryl) (3%), Octocrylene (10%), Titanium Dioxide (5%). The only problem is that Isopropyl Palmitate is the 8th inactive ingredient, and this is a major pore clogger, so this might cause breakouts. Also, the reviews of this say it goes on super duper white, and that the white cast doesn’t blend in. If this product wasn’t $32, I would try it, just in case it worked for me… If you are super pale and aren’t prone to acne, this would be a good sunscreen to try, but otherwise I’m not sold on any of the CVS Anthelios sunscreens.
Anthelios Fluid Extreme 50+ Full list of ingredients: Aqua, isododecane, isononyl isononanoate, alcohol denat., dicaprylyl carbonate, cyclohexasiloxane, octocrylene, titanium dioxide, isocetyl stearate, glycerin, butyl methoxydibenzoylmethane, styrene/acrylates copolymer, peg-30 dipolyhydroxystearate, bis-ethylhexyloxyphenol methoxyphenyl triazine, polymethylsilsesquioxane, silica, caprylyl glycol, cassia alata leaf extract, disodium edta, disteardimonium hectorite, dodecene, drometrizole trisiloxane, ethylhexyl triazone, isopropyl lauroyl sarcosinate, lauryl peg/ppg-18/18 methicone, maltodextrin, phenoxyethanol, poloxamer 407, poly c10-30 alkyl acrylate, propylene carbonate, terephthalylidene dicamphor sulfonic acid, tocopherol, triethanolamine
Have you tried Anthelios sunscreens? Have you tried the European versions or the new US ones?